Scripture

VS 1 But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.

Vs 2 Older men are to be … self-controlled …

Vs 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior ….

Vs 4 and so train the young women … Vs 5 to be self-controlled …

Vs 6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled.

 

Vs 7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works …

 

Vs 11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,

Vs 12 training us to … live self-controlled …

 

Vs 13 … waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ …

 

Observation

Paul is encouraging Titus to teach “sound doctrine” to everyone.

Paul has certain unique teachings for each age and gender,

but he mentions one thing consistently to teach everyone across the board.

 

SELF CONTROL is mentioned as a necessary teaching for everyone!!

In other words … EVRYONE NEEDS SELF CONTOL!!

 

And Paul gives us the “WHAT”, the “HOW”, and the “WHY” of SELF CONTROL in this short instruction.

WHAT is self-control? … “sound doctrine”

HOW do we live with self-control? … “the grace of God training us”

WHY do we live with self-control? … “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of God”

 

Application

I’ve always considered self-control important.

I learned about the “marshmallow test” a long time ago and it stuck with me.

If I want “success” down the road, I better have “self-control” now.

 

But have I ever considered “self-control” to be “sound doctrine”?

I don’t know that I’ve ever linked the two as directly as Paul does here with Titus.

 

Sure, I strive for “sound doctrine”, and, sure, I strive for “self-control”.

But I can’t separate these things anymore.

Self-control IS sound doctrine!

 

It shouldn’t be a stretch in my thinking, though.

Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit before it is an exercise of the body.

 

And so fitting that Paul would list “self-control” last in his list of spiritual fruits.

… such a perfect book end to the first fruit of love.

 

Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, and Gentleness … each are motivated and launched from Love.

Bit will I actually maintain any of those without Self-Control?

Each spiritual fruit is kept on track by Self-Control.

 

But I can take no pride as if this is merely a personal discipline.

Paul reminds me that it is “the grace of God training me” … not my own doing!

Grace of the Spirit in planting the fruit to begin with …

And grace in the continuous training in it.

 

I’ve always thought of “self-control” as a personal act of “delayed gratification”.

In other words, don’t eat the ice cream on Tuesday, wait until the weekend.

Or don’t waste money on a bunch of little spontaneous purchases, wait to spend on the bigger, more meaningful things.

 

So, self-control can be a lot of “waiting”.

But Paul gives me a much more significant cause that I am waiting for.

I am waiting for “our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of God”!

 

Eternal satisfaction in his limitless beauty …

There is no better reason to live out self-control and show it for the world to see.

 

Prayer

Thank you, God, for your Word

Thank you, Spirit, or reminding me of your fruit … self-control

Help me live in it and eliminate the worthless daily wants in my mind

Help me show the world you are worthy

In Jesus name

Amen